HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
February 4, 2014
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of captopril. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Angioedema: Angioedema (a serious allergic reaction that causes the area around the throat and tongue to swell) may occur with the use of ACE inhibitors, including captopril. This occurs for about 1 in 1,000 people. If you experience swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, stop taking captopril at once and seek immediate medical attention. People who have had angioedema caused by other substances may be at increased risk of angioedema while taking an ACE inhibitor.
Fluid and electrolyte levels: Increases in blood levels of potassium occur for a small percentage of people who take captopril. This rarely causes problems, but your doctor should monitor your potassium levels. People with kidney disease or diabetes are at a higher risk of having increased blood potassium while taking captopril.
Infection: Report any signs of infection, such as sore throat or fever, to your doctor.
Kidney function: Changes in kidney function have been seen in certain people. The use of diuretics (water pills) may further increase risk of kidney problems in those at risk for this problem. Tell your doctor if you notice any decrease in urine production or increased swelling of the lower limbs (suggesting accumulation of fluid due to decreased urine production).
Liver disease: People with liver disease should be cautious while taking captopril, as it may worsen this condition and cause increased side effects.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, blood pressure drops too low after taking captopril. This usually happens after the first or second dose or when the dose is increased. It is more likely to occur for those who take water pills, have a salt-restricted diet, are on dialysis, are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, or have been sweating excessively and not drinking enough liquids. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying down position. If low blood pressure causes you to faint or feel lightheaded, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women should not take ACE inhibitors. If you discover you are pregnant, stop taking captopril at once and talk to your doctor.
Breast-feeding: Small amounts (1%) of captopril are passed from the mother to the infant in breast milk. The effect of this amount on the breast-fed child has not been determined. Speak to your doctor about whether you should breast-feed while taking this medication.